Review by Reviewkid97

Reviewed: 01/07/14

Atari's 64-bit system (maybe)

The Atari Jaguar. Atari's last venture into the home console market was marred by controversy over the Jaguar's graphical capabilities. Atari touted that the Jaguar was a 64-bit game system, 4 times more than its competitors, Sega Genesis and SNES. In truth, the main graphics processor was actually a 32-bit processor, but Atari added a combo of processors that somehow created 64 bits. The new processors made it difficult for programmers to develop Jaguar games which hampered the Jaguar's modest success. Let's take a look at other Jaguar features.

Atari Jaguar Report Card
Graphics: C
For a system who's marketing strategy is based entirely on being 64 bits, the Jaguar fails to show it. Many games looked the same or worse as their Genesis or SNES counterparts, most notable is Cybermorph (Jaguar) vs Starfox (SNES). The graphical capabilities were good, but because the expectations were so high, the Jaguar only gets a C in graphics

Controllers: D-
The Atari Jaguar controllers were atrocious. They were bulky, confusing, and had a numeric keypad. Sorry, Jaguar, you're 10 years late on that keypad. Also, for a console made in 1993, 3 buttons (excluding keypad) are unacceptable. Also, why are the buttons ordered C-B-A on the controller. The one upside of the Jaguar controller is that it is comfortable to me.

Games: D
The Jaguar had a large proportion of games that were simply awful, but there are a few good games. The Jaguar featured Tempest 2000, Alien vs. Predator, and the best console port of Doom around. The Jaguar's pack-in game, Cybermorph, was a mediocre flying game, The library of games was pretty poor for the most part, and it drove it further down into the console basement.

Console Design: A-
The Jaguar's hardware design was by far it's best feature, and in my opinion, is one of the best of all time. The Jaguar is sleek and small, with a great black and red color scheme. Simple, yet effective, the Jaguar console is one of the best looking machines on the market.

Sound: C+
The Jaguar's sound capabilities were pretty meager for the most part, but Tempest 2000 had an excellent soundtrack that was so good, it was released on CD. Many other games had average music and sound effects, but Tempest 2000 made the system fairly decent in the audio department.

Overall: C-
The Jaguar had some good qualities, but a modest game library, bad controllers, and controversy on whether it was really 64-bit were enough to make it a failure for Atari.

Decent music
Excellent design

Terrible controllers
Poor game library
Underwhelming graphics

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Product Release: Jaguar Hardware (US, 11/15/93)

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